In my dream, I was happily standing in an orderly queue. I don't even know what the queue was for, but isn't it strange that my dreams are exactly as my days. Today I have already been in two queues, with more to come. Luckily, I do know what they are all for. This morning, as I drifted out of my exhilarating dreamscape it felt impossible to open my eyes and my alarm sounded foreign. It was difficult to breathe, which reminded me that I have a cold. I chose a ten minute snooze on my alarm as all those who despise mornings are apt to do. When I could finally focus my eyes, I checked my messages. There was a heartbreaking message that a loved one's dog had suddenly passed away. I sent my condolences and tried to think of what we could do to let them know we are thinking of them as I made my way to wake up everyone else in my house. I wondered if my nephew had a happy ninth birthday yesterday. I wondered if our closest friend in New Brunswick enjoyed his birthday yesterday and hoped that his package had arrived in time but was willing to bet that it had not. I thought of how my mind can be on so many people at one time scattered all around the world.
We barely made it to school on time and after arriving back home, I stared distastefully at my To Do list for a good five minutes before making myself a coffee and logging on to my friend the computer and then staring at a blank screen for ten more minutes. The garbage trucks are making the rounds and the wind is whipping by my house and creating it's characteristic wailing sound. In England they refer to a garbage truck as a bin lorry (I believe- please correct me if I am wrong). I don't think this particular nomenclature will be adopted by myself, although I have been using the word lorry on occasion... kind of by accident. The wind makes such a convincing cry audible from the second floor of this house, that I often feel as if I am living in the story of The Secret Garden although I have infinitely more chores and responsibilities than Mary ever did and most of the crying is actually the wind and not a boy who believes himself to be a wheelchair user but is actually suffering from mental illness and neglect.
The cold medication I have taken is now making my head fuzzy, or maybe that's just the cold itself. It's hard to really know to what degree medication is psychosomatic. My partner claims that he feels instantly cured of a headache the moment he swallows a Tylenol. Random word fun, acetamenophen is called paracetomal in England. Why? No one knows. I do know that we see a marked improvement in my oldest son's ability to focus when he has taken his ADHD medication, and I believe in science, so it can't all be for nothing.
I often think that I must have a clean home to write or to relax. However true this is, it is counterproductive to the creative process. I believe that people who work from home have it the most difficult of all. You cannot stop to do dishes or laundry if you are at your place of employment separate from your home, unless dishes and laundry are part of your employment. Those working away from home have a gift in that they can be present and focused on work. Those working from home have a gift in that they can wear sweatpants (I don't even want to know what my British friends might think "sweatpants" are) and you can be distracted by sorting out the recycling even if you hate it. When I am teaching music lessons from home, part of my job is tidying up for students and making sure I am properly dressed, so I suppose that is helpful. At the moment, it is getting difficult to type with my eyes closed so that I don't see the messes all around me. I'll bet you are more impressed with this stream of consciousness now.
I am working on living in a messier house. It is really hard for me, and I know it is countercultural to what I should yearn for- nearly everything I value seems to be countercultural these days so I am okay with that. I have such a need to create (in more forms than is healthy or manageable) and such an obsessive need for order. These parts are both so vital to who I am and so contradictory that it is exhausting. We all have different levels of messy allowance. I really believe this. I get so jealous of people with a higher messier allowance than me. Which is hilarious, because I feel like they are constantly apologizing to me if I am in their space, they really shouldn't. I want to be more like them! I am also jealous of people who hire a house cleaner. I am also very very cheap. So I continue to put up with my grumpy weary house cleaner who will work for free but likes to complain (spoiler- it's me). My partner is quite helpful, although his level of cleanliness is considerably lower than mine. My boys are definitely being trained well, and this brings me great joy. They clean up better than any children I have met, and this is probably my proudest parenting triumph. As the messes they make are epic, they have a lot of opportunity to hone their skills in this area.
Today's goal was not to write a manifesto on cleaning, or mornings, or colds and fuzzy thoughts. Today's goal was to write. FIRST. Before I do any chores. This morning, I did not have any plans or obligations, and I've allowed my creative side to win the battle of how I spend that time. Up next I would like to get out my paints or park myself at the piano, but in reality, I will be speed cleaning the house for the next 30 minutes before I need to head out and get on with my day. What is it that you need more of in your life? I'll bet it's not cleaning or standing in queues. Figure out what it is and do more of that. It's a gift to yourself and the world. We might as well have happy people in all those queues!